A snack-time (and storytime) treat.




Peanut-butter–and-jelly’s a great snack for a pig and a duck…until nine unwanted guests show up.

One hungry pig and its sidekick duckling have made their PB&J when along comes a second pig, bearing pickles. That can’t go on a PB&J! “ ‘I like lots of peas,’ cries pig number three. / On this sandwich? Are you kidding me?” A fourth brings fruit piled up on her hat, Carmen Miranda–style. (She’s the only pig with eyelashes, and she wears a pink dress, in a lazy, stereotyped depiction.) The fifth brings fish, the sixth brings bees (trailing its honey jar), and the seventh, some rhyming macaroni and cheese. Pigs eight through 10 pile on pancakes, gravy, and ice cream with sprinkles, respectively. No pig is going to think a sandwich like that sounds good to eat, but “Pig Eleven likes what he sees. / ‘It looks delicious to me!’ ” But wait…there are only 10 pigs. It’s a wolf! The pigs scatter, leaving that delicious PB&J to be enjoyed by the first pig and the duckling (once the duckling gets out of the wolf costume). Anderson concocts a droll and daffy counting tale in serviceable rhyme. Arabic numerals are absent, and the text is set in El Grande, an all-uppercase typeface, making this less a book to teach numeracy than a silly tale for storytime. The digital illustrations are in Anderson’s signature style and will be familiar to fans of his work in the Hot Rod Hamster series.

A snack-time (and storytime) treat. (Picture book. 2-6)

Pub Date: May 10, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-545-16848-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Orchard/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: Feb. 17, 2016

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2016

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A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends.


Is it a stormy-night scare or a bedtime book? Both!

Little Blue Truck and his good friend Toad are heading home when a storm lets loose. Before long, their familiar, now very nervous barnyard friends (Goat, Hen, Goose, Cow, Duck, and Pig) squeeze into the garage. Blue explains that “clouds bump and tumble in the sky, / but here inside we’re warm and dry, / and all the thirsty plants below / will get a drink to help them grow!” The friends begin to relax. “Duck said, loud as he could quack it, / ‘THUNDER’S JUST A NOISY RACKET!’ ” In the quiet after the storm, the barnyard friends are sleepy, but the garage is not their home. “ ‘Beep!’ said Blue. ‘Just hop inside. / All aboard for the bedtime ride!’ ” Young readers will settle down for their own bedtimes as Blue and Toad drop each friend at home and bid them a good night before returning to the garage and their own beds. “Blue gave one small sleepy ‘Beep.’ / Then Little Blue Truck fell fast asleep.” Joseph’s rich nighttime-blue illustrations (done “in the style of [series co-creator] Jill McElmurry”) highlight the power of the storm and capture the still serenity that follows. Little Blue Truck has been chugging along since 2008, but there seems to be plenty of gas left in the tank.

A sweet reminder that it’s easy to weather a storm with the company and kindness of friends. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: Oct. 22, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-328-85213-7

Page Count: 32

Publisher: HMH Books

Review Posted Online: June 23, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2019

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Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way.


From the Pigeon series

All the typical worries and excuses kids have about school are filtered through Willems’ hysterical, bus-loving Pigeon.

Told mostly in speech balloons, the bird’s monologue will have kids (and their caregivers) in stitches at Pigeon’s excuses. From already knowing everything (except whatever question readers choose to provide in response to “Go ahead—ask me a question. / Any question!”) to fearing learning too much (“My head might pop off”), Pigeon’s imagination has run wild. Readers familiar with Pigeon will recognize the muted, matte backgrounds that show off the bird’s shenanigans so well. As in previous outings, Willems varies the size of the pigeon on the page to help communicate emotion, the bird teeny small on the double-page spread that illustrates the confession that “I’m… / scared.” And Pigeon’s eight-box rant about all the perils of school (“The unknown stresses me out, dude”) is marvelously followed by the realization (complete with lightbulb thought bubble) that school is the place for students to practice, with experts, all those skills they don’t yet have. But it is the ending that is so Willems, so Pigeon, and so perfect. Pigeon’s last question is “Well, HOW am I supposed to get there, anyway!?!” Readers will readily guess both the answer and Pigeon’s reaction.

Yes, the Pigeon has to go to school, and so do readers, and this book will surely ease the way. (Picture book. 3-6)

Pub Date: July 2, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-368-04645-9

Page Count: 40

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: May 8, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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